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Published by Orenda Books, 3 July 2017. ISBN: 978-1-910633-78-6
When Poppy Rutledge hears that her younger sister
India has fallen to her death from a railway bridge she rushes back from London
where she has been living for the last four years to be with her mother Kirsten
and her stepfather Tim for the funeral. The police believe that India’s death
was suicide and Kirsten is completely devastated by her daughter’s death while
Tim concentrates on comforting and supporting her. But Poppy is not convinced. Moreover,
in the previous four years she and India had had little contact about which she
now feels profoundly guilty. India had not been the sort of person to commit
suicide and Poppy is determined to find out the truth. She has already learned
from India’s mobile phone with its access to India’s blog that the last person
to whom India sent a post was someone called Jenny to whom she writes with
great love. But who was Jenny? Is she the mysterious girl who appears at
India’s funeral? Poppy then gains access to India’s laptop, which India had
jealously guarded during her life time in the hope of finding out more. But the
contents are as elliptic as those of India’s mobile and her blog. She comes to
rely on Matthew, her former lover for whom she still feels strong emotions.
When their relationship had ended, and she left Brighton for London and a
series of what were in essence not much more than one-night stands, he had
remained behind in the family home with his well-to-do parents, Alan and Maggie
Temple, and his twin sister Ana. He suggests that Jenny is in fact JoJo,
India’s childhood friend, but is that a dead end? And while Poppy is
desperately seeking for the truth about her sister’s death and her mother is
traumatised by grief and even solid dependable Tim is coping with, not just
Kirsten’s and Poppy’s reactions, but his own distress, she comes to rely on
Matthew. But can she really trust him? And whose is the voice of an alternating
narrative who is being manipulated by She
Who Must Be Manipulated? And who is She
and just what is the secret of She’s
clever and intricately plotted book is very much in the new but now well-established
genre of domestic noir and will undoubtedly find a wide readership. On the
surface it appears to be highly convoluted but the questions for which Poppy
must find explanations are in the end satisfactorily answered. Very much
recommended, particularly for fans of stories of dysfunctional families.
Reviewer: Radmila May
Lucy V. Hay
is a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write
consultancy. She is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers Deviation (2012) and Assassin (2015), both starring Danny
Dyer. Lucy is also head reader for The London Screenwriters' Festival. She
lives in Devon with her husband, and three children.
born in the U.S. but has lived in the U.K. since she was seven apart from seven
years in The Hague. She read law at university but did not go into practice.
Instead she worked for many years for a firm of law publishers and still does occasional
work for them including taking part in a substantial revision and updating of
her late husband’s legal practitioners’ work on Criminal Evidence published
late 2015. She has also contributed short stories with a distinctly criminal
flavour to two of the Oxford Stories anthologies published by Oxpens Press – a
third story is to be published shortly in another Oxford Stories anthology –
and is now concentrating on her own writing.